Middlesex County League Division Three: Pratik Patel wants Crouch End CC to eventually produce international cricketer

Crouch End CC coach Poojan Vyas (left) along with head of colts cricket Pratik Patel (centre) and co

Crouch End CC coach Poojan Vyas (left) along with head of colts cricket Pratik Patel (centre) and colts manager Ricardo Kirton (right) along with several colts during Saturday's taster colts session (pic: Pratik Patel). - Credit: Archant

The Calthorpe outfit saw young batsman Jalpesh Vijay play against Bangladesh’s Academy last summer and hope it will be a watershed moment

Crouch End CC’s head of colts cricket Pratik Patel is keen to try and produce a cricketer of international standard from the area in the coming years.

The opening batsman and his team-mates are getting ready for their first-ever term in the Middlesex County League with the Division Three season starting on May 5.

But while some of Patel’s focus is on senior matters, he is also doing his best to get the colts section thriving again in order to help the club remain in the Middlesex County League.

A key player in the first-team, who is an inspiration for juniors at the Calthorpe outfit, is Jalpesh Vijay.

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The talented wicket-keeper first joined Crouch End ahead of the 2017 campaign and shone with both the bat and the gloves as they secured promotion.

His exploits haven’t gone unnoticed either as he played for Warwickshire’s second XI at the end of the year in a friendly One-Day fixture with Bangladesh’s Academy.

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After seeing a Crouch End player do battle with a team full of internationals, Patel now wants to try and produce a player from the club who can play for his country.

“Our three-year plan is to have a Crouch End junior cricketer representing maybe England in the under-19 or under-17 World Cup, so that’s our ambition,” said Patel.

“We actually have a young player (Vijay) from the club who played for Warwickshire against the Bangladesh academy last year, so that was a first for Crouch End.”

Patel wants it to, in time, become a regular occurrence and another strong campaign with Crouch End should boost Vijay’s aim of one day playing in the County Championship.

The wicket-keeper played an integral part in the success of the N8 side in 2017 after initially progressing through Harefield’s academy where he earned an appearance for Leicestershire’s second XI back in 2015.

“Vijay is older than 18 now, but he’s still a young cricketer who only joined the club two years ago and he scored 900 runs in 2017,” said Patel.

“He also played in a friendly for Warwickshire against Bangladesh and ultimately our main aspiration is to produce cricketers for the international stage.”

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